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Module PMP-4001:
Mindfulness - Foundation

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Gemma Griffith

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To develop experiential understanding of mindfulness as an approach through the establishment of a daily mindfulness practice.
  2. To deepen awareness and understanding of the ways we experience ourselves and the world, and of our responses to internal and external events.
  3. To experience and understand mindful approaches to difficulty both for self and for others.
  4. To connect this personal understanding with knowledge of the theoretical background and rationale for mindfulness-based approaches and to develop ways to articulate this.
  5. To develop an experiential, reflective, investigative approach to learning.
  6. To understand the origins and context of mindfulness.

Course content

The module involves active participation in a mindfulness-based approaches course which will broadly follow the curriculum of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) with elements of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) incorporated. This part of the module will include an engagement within the teaching group and individually in a process of investigation into the learning that is arising and unfolding through direct participation in the programme and a daily personal mindfulness practice. There is therefore an expectation that participants will commit to the establishment of a daily mindfulness practice and experiential, investigative exploration of this. This is supported by regular connection with a tutor between sessions to investigate the process of learning through the personal practice of mindfulness and participation in a mindfulness-based approaches course. During the teaching days there will be space to reflect in small groups on personal observations and experiences of the learning and teaching processes. There will also be presentations and discussions on the theoretical underpinnings and rationale for mindfulness-based approaches to change and learning.

Assessment Criteria


60% Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the subject area is given, showing sound understanding. Good use is made of teaching material and core readings. Some ability to appraise the evidence critically is shown, with a clear ability to communicate a well-reasoned argument within a logical structure. Material has depth and insight, and shows the student is clearly learning through mindful reflection; it demonstrates plainly an ability to describe internal experiences and processes, and to integrate these meaningfully and competently with the theory and rationale of the subject area. Gives coherent expression to both experiential and conceptual /theoretical knowledge. Understanding of theory is sound.


70% Shows sophisticated knowledge and very comprehensive and accurate coverage of the subject area, indicating that the student has gone beyond the core readings and explored the topic widely. Writes coherently with clarity of argument and expression, giving a very clear structure in which each stage is explicitly linked to each other and to the essay subject. Material has great depth and insight, showing advanced learning through mindful reflection, and excellent ability to describe internal experiences and processes, and to integrate these with conceptual and theoretical issues and their implications. Is able to critically appraise personal experience, and synthesize this with in-depth analysis of and reference to the literature.


*50%*Basic factual information is given, largely based on teaching material. The essay shows some knowledge of the subject area and is fairly accurate, but has some important errors or gaps. The work is lacking in critical appraisal, but gives some limited evidence of ability to communicate a coherent argument within a logical structure. The material shows the beginnings of insight and a little evidence of the student's capacity to learn through mindful reflection. Material demonstrates some limited ability to describe internal experiences and processes, and to integrate these with theoretical understanding of the subject area.

Learning outcomes

  1. Contextualise MBCs within the framework of the student's life and work.

  2. Demonstrate your understanding of the themes taught on mindfulness-based courses (MBCs) and the rationale for this approach.

  3. Reflect on the experience of a committed daily personal mindfulness practice and the learning arising through engaging in a mindfulness-based programme.

  4. Connect and synthesize the experiential and theoretical components of the module.

  5. Explore, evaluate and analyse the origins, principles, theoretical and philosophical background to mindfulness practice.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Assignment 1

Write a reflective summary of 1) your experience of engaging in the mindfulness-based programme during this module, and 2) your own mindfulness practice ‘journey’ during this module.

ESSAY Assignment 2

Write an essay which integrates detailed examples of your personal experience of mindfulness practice with the wider, theoretical rationales which underpin the 8-week course.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Each student gets 5x 30 minute personal tutorials spread throughout the academic year.

Practical classes and workshops

(This is an essentially experiential module; the module teaching days include theoretical input, generally within seminars, and the 2 extra general teaching days are in lecture format.)

Overall there are seven Foundation module days (9am-5pm) With two compulsory days of additional teaching (9am-5pm)

Total (based on 9x 7 hour days - excluding lunch break)

Private study

This includes coming to the teaching days prepared by reading the recommended texts, personal mindfulness practice, research and writing.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Complete and available to students

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module